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on Home Education
PA Home Education Law
Forms & Documents
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for High Schoolers
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General Legislative Info
Requirements of the
Home Education Law in PA
Below is an overview of the PA Home Education Law. All parents considering home education and all veteran homeschool
parents should be familiar with the actual content of the law and should read it at least once or twice a year. It is
not difficult to read. Reading this web page does not constitute legal advice nor does it replace reading the law itself.
Compulsory School Age -- Compulsory attendance laws in Pennsylvania require students between the ages of 8
and 17 to attend school or follow Act 169 referenced below. The following applies to children who are 1) 8 years or
older as of the first day of school for their local public school district or will turn 8 within the first two weeks of
classes for that school year, or 2) begin homeschooling after attending a school (public or private) for grade one or higher
regardless of age. Children who have not attended school for grades one or higher and are under the age of 8 have no
reporting requirements. According to Section 1304 of the Public School Code, the below applies to those students if they are 8 as
of the first day of school for their local school district or will turn 8 within the first two weeks of classes for that
school year. Please note that kindergarten is not a mandatory grade level.
Home Education Law
Affidavit -- Before beginning to home educate, you must file a notarized affidavit with
your local public school superintendent. It should be sent by certified mail/return receipt requested to your local public
school superintendent (not a Catholic school). Although some districts tell parents to send such documentation to other
school personnel, the law requires that it be sent to the superintendent, not his designee. Objectives (an
educational plan consisting of at least one objective for each required subject for each child) for each child for each
subject including safety education/fire prevention must be attached to the affidavit. With regard to documentation of
those immunizations and health/medical services that are required by law or an exemption for medical or moral reasons, the
home education law states, "the notarized affidavit shall be satisfactory evidence thereof." However, you must attest in
the affidavit that your student(s) has been immunized and is receiving the health and medical services required by low or
that there is a medical exemption or a strong, moral or ethical conviction similar to a religious belief for any or all of
the immunizations and health and medical services. Students who require special education additionally require a letter
from a certified special education teacher or licensed psychologist stating that the objectives provide for your
child's particular needs. Parents may begin home educating their children at any point in the school year after filing
the required paperwork, if the age of the child requires it. However, in subsequent years the affidavit must be filed on
or before August 1.
The list of required health and medical services is as follows:
- 1st year -- dental exam, TB test, and medical exam
- 1st grade -- hearing test
- 2nd grade -- hearing test
- 3rd grade -- hearing test, dental exam
- 6th grade -- medical exam, scoliosis test
- 7th grade -- hearing test, scoliosis test, and dental exam
- 9th grade -- TB test
- 11th grade -- medical exam, hearing test
- Annually -- eye exam, height and weight measurement
Log/Portfolio -- Parents must provide the students with either 180 days or 900 hours of instruction for
grades K-6 or 180 days or 990 hours of instruction for grades 7-12. A portfolio must list the titles of reading
materials and include samples of the student's work such as writings, worksheets, etc., if any, worksheets, etc., that
demonstrate his/her academic progress.
Testing -- Each student in grades 3, 5, and 8 must take a standardized achievement test.
of accepted tests is required to be provided by the Department of Education. Some school districts may, but are not
required to, provide testing to homeschooled students. Some full-service curriculum providers
may automatically send a standardized test for each child each year or upon entry into their program. Usually their tests
are acceptable, but it is wise to verify that it is one of the acceptable tests within the state of PA. Our state requires
that the parent NOT administer this test, but anyone else may. The test scores for students in grades 3, 5, and 8
only must be included in the portfolio submitted at the end of the school year.
Evaluation -- Some time near the end of the school year, a certified teacher, non-public school teacher, or licensed
psychologist must evaluate each student's work/portfolio. This evaluator must interview the student, review the booklist
and portfolio to verify that an *appropriate education has taken place, and write a letter attesting to this. The
evaluation letter, booklist and portfolio must be submitted to the public school superintendent no later than June 30th.
It is wise to choose your evaluator early in the school year, if at all possible.
* Act 169 of 1988 defines "appropriate education" as follows: "'appropriate education'
shall mean a program consisting of instruction in the  required subjects for the  time required in this act and in
which the student demonstrates  sustained progress in the overall program." From Act 169-1988.
Private Tutoring Law
Private Tutoring Law -- Any parent who possesses a teaching certificate can privately tutor their children. This
entails sending to the public school superintendent a copy of their teaching certificate, an Act 34 Criminal Clearance and
a letter notifying the superintendent that you will be privately tutoring your own children. No yearly affidavit,
portfolio or evaluation is necessary. For more information on this law contact the Department of Education at
(717) 787-2967 and read the Private Tutoring Law or The Pennsylvania Home Education Handbook available from Diana Baseman, 54 Fielding Court,
South Orange, NJ 07079-2321. The cost of this very thorough book complete with reproducible form samples is $14.95 +
$3.05 shipping and tax.
State Contacts for Homeschool Questions
FOR HOME EDUCATION LAW
Office of School Services
Attention: Sarah Pearce
personal phone (717) 783-3750
fax (717) 783-6802
e-mail -- firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR PRIVATE TUTORING LAW
Teacher Preparation and Certification (717) 787-2967
FOR SPECIAL NEED STUDENTS
Special Education (717) 787-6913
GENERAL DEPARTMENT ADDRESS
PA Department of Education (PDE)
333 Market Street
Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
Department Phone (717) 787-4860
STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
General Information (800) 692-7254
Immunizations (717) 787-5681
School Health (717) 787-2390
If you should contact any of the above agencies with home education questions, please be sure to let us know so that we are
kept abreast of their latest advice, determinations, and any problems that homeschoolers are encountering.
DISCLAIMER: Information contained on this website does not constitute legal advice and does not replace reading the
actual homeschool law or consulting with the Pennsylvania Department of Education or appropriate legal counsel.
Webmaster: Timothy Kramer -- E-mail:
© Copyright 2003 Ellen Kramer or Catholic Homeschoolers of Pennsylvania unless otherwise noted.
This page was updated on July 16, 2004.